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n. pl. con·fra·ter·ni·ties
An association of persons united in a common purpose or profession.

[Middle English confraternite, from Old French, from Medieval Latin cōnfrāternitās, from cōnfrāter, colleague; see confrere.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -ties
a group of men united for some particular purpose, esp Christian laymen organized for religious or charitable service; brotherhood
[C15: from Medieval Latin confrāternitās; see confrère, fraternity]
ˌconfraˈternal adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌkɒn frəˈtɜr nɪ ti)

n., pl. -ties.
1. a lay brotherhood devoted to some religious or charitable service.
2. a society, esp. of men, united for some purpose or in some profession.
[1425–75; late Middle English < Medieval Latin confrāternitās, derivative of confrāter (see confrere), on the model of Latin frāternitās fraternity]
con`fra•ter′nal, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a brotherhood, especially a group of men bound by a common goal or interest.
See also: Society
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


 an association of men united together for some profession or object. See also brotherhood, clan, fraternity.
Examples: confraternity of aldermen, 1654; of chimney sweeps, 1688; of men-milliners [‘dandies’], 1885; of monks and friars, 1688; of potters, 1601; of traitors, 1872.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In the atmosphere of the Counter-Reformation, the church sought tighter supervision over the confraternities, not only to ensure some uniformity in Catholic doctrine, but also to see that they did not become politically challenging or altogether undermine the church's prerogative as organizer and dispenser of charity.
Instead they place informal social controls before government--honor, status evaluation, customary and Christian moral codes and gossip--and focus on more local institutions like family, neighborhood and confraternities as the key solidarities upon which most significant power was based in daily life.
Sodalities and societies and confraternities honor and invoke her help in special rituals--one, in Spain, especially includes homosexuals, gypsies, and sailors.
Guilds and confraternities used to sing it in the open market-places.
Bram van den Hoven van Genderen and Paul Trio conclude the book with a helpful survey of scholarship on confraternities in the Low Countries from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries.
The final chapter provides a geographical and chronological overview of the first Jesuit confraternities in Italy.
Since its beginnings in the mid-1970s, the study of medieval and early modern confraternities has come a long way.
Among their topics are the religious confraternities in High Renaissance Florence, royal commemoration at Westminster Abbey 1500-1700, and Isabela d'Este and a Bolognese correspondent.
D'Andrea's study is one of many recent works to consider the contributions of confraternities to late medieval and early modern European life.
In addition, Baker investigates other institutions, where music played a role, including beaterios (houses) for religious females, hospitals, schools, and confraternities. The diverse urban and social dynamics surrounding musical performance indicate the pervasiveness of music permeating all facets of colonial society for men and women.
Nigerian Tribune learnt that the clash, between members of the Eiye and Aiye confraternities, resulted in the killing of one person.
The book is less concerned with, for example, politics and relations with Huguenots, than with the lives of parish priests, religious orders, the episcopacy, the role of shrines, the administration of sacraments, religious education, the spiritual life, the Jansenists, the role of confraternities and the importance of Devots.